Oct 24, 2019

The sound of smart science

Steven Hocurscak
Steven Hocurscak
Business Manager

Oil pipelines crisscross the world. North America alone features more than 95,000 miles of pipes meandering across the land. This presents pipeline operators with numerous challenges in maintaining optimum performance while preserving good relations with surrounding communities. Of the natural and manmade problems that persist, noise and vibrations are quite common. They both lead to unwanted wear and tear on your valves and disturb people living nearby your pipelines.

pipelines at sunset

We’re talking about two types of noise in particular: hydrodynamic noise and aerodynamic noise.

Hydrodynamic noise happens when changes in oil velocity cause the pressure of oil to drop below the point where it vaporizes. Here, bubbles of gas form. This is called cavitation. When pressure increases, the bubbles “pop,” imploding back to liquid while causing shock waves and microjets of directional energy in the millions of psi. These forces erode and damage valves.

Aerodynamic noise occurs when gases reach supersonic rates – such as when passing through a constriction in the pipe. In this case, the velocity increases and the pressure drops, expanding the gas. This rapid gas expansion and its further compression cause powerful shock waves and turbulence that generate noise.

Both types of noise lead not only to greater wear of components, higher maintenance costs, lost uptime and missed revenue, but also environmental noise that can disturb people living close to pipelines.

To counter these problems, we’ve engineered Neles Q-Trim control valves that:

  • Reduce or eliminate cavitation through pressure staging
  • Leverage flow division to achieve less noisy and safer throughput
  • Utilize a variable-resistor design to optimize pressure and noise control
  • Shift peak frequencies to reduce vibrations
  • Feature self-cleaning valve trims to enable optimal flow

With smart science and smart designs, we believe we can make noisy pipes history. This translates into quieter, safer and ultimately more profitable operations for you.

Today, I invite you to read the latest World Pipelines story Time to turn it down to discover more about how the patented Q-Trim technology can decrease the noise and increase returns.

This blog post has been up-dated in July 2020, due to company name change to Neles.